No payout for Hopewell over abandoned Bangkok railway

No payout for Hopewell over abandoned Bangkok railway

Court rejects the settlement request

No payout for Hopewell over abandoned Bangkok railway
The Bang Khen region is still home to the Hopewell large transit project’s pillars and beams. ( File image: Wicheanbut Nutthawat)

An arbitration tribunal’s order for the Ministry of Transport and the State Railway of Thailand( SRT ) to pay multi-billion baht in compensation in the” Hopewell saga” was overturned by the Central Administrative Court on Monday.

As a result, Hopewell Thailand won’t have to pay the government and the SRT the enormous settlement.

Pirapan Salirathavibhaga, the deputy prime minister and power minister, posted on Facebook on Monday,” Congratulation to all Thais.” The Hopewell situation has been won by us. A working board dealing with issues related to the abandoned bridge project was previously led by Mr. Pirapan.

Hopewell can also challenge the ruling of the court, though.

Following a 2021 ruling by the Central Administrative Court against them in the” Hopewell saga,” the Transport Ministry and the SRT’s request for retrial were successful on March 4 of last year.

As a result, the Central Administrative Court was the new target of the payment debate.

The government and the SRT, according to Mr. Pirapan, claimed that the statute of limitations had now passed and ought to have had an impact on the Supreme Administrative Court judges’ decision at the time.

The Supreme Administrative Court ordered the ministry and SRT to pay 11.8 billion baht plus a 7.5 % interest rate to the company in the original 2019 ruling in exchange for the termination of the 1998 contract to construct Bangkok’s 60-kilometer elevated highway and rail system.

An mediation court’s decision from 2008 served as the foundation for the settlement amount. According to resources, the number has since increased to about 27 billion baht with interest.

A Constitutional Court decision made on March 17, 2021, which clarified a quality passed by Supreme Administrative Court judges on November 27, 2002, served as the foundation for the government and the SRT’s petition asking to have the 2019 opinion retrialized.

The plea questioned whether the Supreme Administrative Court’s decision in the case violated the Constitution by going against the 1999 Establishment and Proceedings of Administrative Cases Act and the statute of limitations.

The Hopewell case’s statute of limitations may become counted starting on March 9, 2001, the day the Supreme Administrative Court was established, according to a ruling by the courts.

As a result, it determined that the business had legally requested the mediation court’s decision. The statute of limitations began on the first known day of the conflict, according to the plaintiffs, who claimed that the 1999 laws made this clear.

However, the majority of Constitutional Court justices decided that the decision was unconstitutional because the Supreme Administrative Court had not published it in the Royal Gazette or sent it to parliament for review.

The judges ruled that these errors made the quality” unenforceable.”

The five-year statute of limitations, according to Mr. Pirapan, was actually counted starting on January 30, 1998, when Hopewell( Thailand ) Co. was made aware of the damage.

As argued by Hopewell and supported by the Supreme Administrative Court in its April 22, 2019, decision on the situation, it expired on January 30, 2003, and did not begin on March 9, 2001.

The Central Administrative Court ruled on Monday that the ministry and the SRT may still use the Constitutional Court’s decision as justification for requesting a retrial, despite the fact that it may provide the decision of the Supreme Court unworkable.

When the later Montri Pongpanit served as transport secretary under the Chatichai Choonhavan administration, the commitment to construct the Hopewell task was signed on November 9, 1990.